He played football for BYU over 30 years ago, but this Cougar turned Ute is now nothing but red.
In this week's "Person 2 Person" Shauna Lake sits down with head coach of the Utes, Kyle Whittingham.
Below is a transcript of Shauna Lakes interview with Kyle Whittingham:
SHAUNA LAKE: Thank you so much for doing this interview with us today.
KYLE WHITTINGHAM: No problem.
SHAUNA LAKE: I guess the big thing in your life right now obviously is the football season getting ready to go.
KYLE WHITTINGHAM: Yeah.
SHAUNA LAKE: And you are raring to go and you are on a schedule. I mean this is an exciting time for you.
KYLE WHITTINGHAM: It is, and were excited about the season and getting back on the field. Players are working hard. Its been a great off season. Were ready to go.
SHAUNA LAKE: What does it feel like? Is this kind of a back to school feeling for you?
KYLE WHITTINGHAM: It is. It is and you know its the best time of the year. When fall is right around the corner and the seasons right around the corner and you're getting back into it. I love it. I wouldn't trade it for anything.
SHAUNA LAKE: What does it feel like having this new facility? Does it feel like a fresh start?
KYLE WHITTINGHAM: It does. Its something that has really rejuvenated everybody in the program. Were 16 months in a trailer, temporary trailer situation and just counting the days down until we were able to move into this building and it happened about three weeks ago and everybody's excited about it.
SHAUNA LAKE: What does football do for you as a person?
KYLE WHITTINGHAM: Wow what does it do for me? Its who I am you know. It embodies me. For 40 something years Ive been involved in football every single season without interruption. Its just, its in my fabric. Its a way of life.
SHAUNA LAKE: Is there a moment in your youth where there was an imprint where you just knew this is something that sings to me?
KYLE WHITTINGHAM: Well my dad played in the NFL for nine years and so I was around the NFL players when I was younger, and I was just enamored from that point forward with the game and wanting to be a part of it.
SHAUNA LAKE: Is there something that you think changes the character of a young man when he plays football?
KYLE WHITTINGHAM: Absolutely yeah. Absolutely I think football is a microcosm life. And the lessons these young men learn in the football arena, discipline, accountability, work ethic, all those things that involve being a good football program without a doubt most likely carry into their lives once they leave football.
SHAUNA LAKE:What about the pressure you feel? When you look into those stands, I mean and you see the sea of red, how much pressure do you feel to bring home a win to them?
KYLE WHITTINGHAM: Well I think I can speak for just about every coach that we put more pressure on ourselves than anything externally ever could. Were driven. Were competitive. That's why were in the profession were in. And so even though, yeah you certainly want to put a good product out there for your fans, and our fans have been great. We have great fans at Utah, very supportive. We've sold that stadium out for three or four, five years in a row. So that's obviously a big part of it, but like I said the internal pressure coaches put on themselves is greater than anything else from the outside.
SHAUNA LAKE: What about your family? It takes a toll on them I bet.
KYLE WHITTINGHAM: It does, it does, and Ive got a great family and a great wife. There's two kinds of coaches wives, great ones and exs. That's about it. There's no in between because its so it requires such a sacrifice from your wife and from your family that they've got to be special people, and I'm fortunate to have those people around me.
SHAUNA LAKE: Explain it to me. Is it all consuming the life of a coach?
KYLE WHITTINGHAM: It is.
SHAUNA LAKE: Do you go home and are you grumpy if you have lost? Do you shut down and not talk about it?
KYLE WHITTINGHAM: My wife says I am, but I don't feel like I am. But she says it definitely is noticeable, but I try my best to leave football at the office and when I get home be able to separate that. And I think my own personal point of view is I think I do a pretty good job of that. But you know when things aren't going well it cant help but have an impact in other areas of your life.
SHAUNA LAKE: So what else do you do? What do you do to decompress?
KYLE WHITTINGHAM: Oh what do I like to do? I love to go boating, play tennis, skiing. Ive developed a passion for skiing. I can get to Snowbird in 12 minutes from my house and every chance I get in the offseason in the winter I zip up to Snowbird and get some runs in. Lets see, Ive started to like golf. You know I wasn't a golfer for years and years, but I'm starting to enjoy that. So I have plenty of outlets and plenty of things I do in the offseason.
SHAUNA LAKE: Tennis?
KYLE WHITTINGHAM: Tennis absolutely!
SHAUNA LAKE: Ive heard youre a phenomenal tennis player.
KYLE WHITTINGHAM: I wouldn't say phenomenal, but I love to get out there and hit the ball. Not a lot of time for it. My time to decompress is very short. We have about a four week window in the summer, but every chance I get to play tennis I love to do that as well.
SHAUNA LAKE: What about being a local celebrity? Utah really holds you in the regard and when you go out to restaurants and things like that, people respond to you I'm sure? Do you enjoy that role?
KYLE WHITTINGHAM: Well they do and its great to be in a situation where there are people being excited and cordial. You know they see youits better than having them shoot spitwads at you or something. So I guess right now its something that is part of the deal, comes with the territory, but you know like I said our fans and the community here have been great and have treated us very well in this program.
SHAUNA LAKE: Alright Coach Whittingham its so nice to get to know you a little bit better Person 2 Person.
KYLE WHITTINGHAM: Oh thank you very much Shauna. Good to visit with you.
SHAUNA LAKE: Congrats on your new facility.
KYLE WHITTINGHAM: Yeah, thank you very much. I appreciate that.
(Copyright 2013 Sinclair Broadcasting Group.)